The Sonic Chair isn't a new concept, it's been offering the public auditory pleasure in museums and libraries world wide since 2007. It's even won the coveted red dot design award. At this year's IFA the new improved SC02 was unveiled featuring iPad integration and an enhanced amplifier system. The good news, it's finally available to Joe and Jane Public for a mere 8,999 euros. That's without the fancy extras.
We settled into the Sonic Chair and can report that the sound quality is fantastic. Imagine you're tiny enough to nestle into one of the padded cups of your favorite pair of headphones. Feel the beat reverberate through your body. That vibration is thanks to iBeam, a structure borne sound converter on the chassis that produces vibrations you'd usually equate with an early Pixies concert.
Jan Stuhn, in charge of project development and sales explains the "Heart of the chair is a sound system consisting of a three way speaker system, each with its own Class D state of the art amplifier." Each of these is controlled by DSP (digital signal processing). "The lower frequencies are emitted over the ground directly into your body and we frame this by implementing the iBeam," Stuhn says.
The company explains: "We have developed a special structure-borne sound membrane comparable to a large loudspeaker measuring a meter in diameter. The membrane is perforated, which means it does not emit any audible sound waves but rather vibrations at extremely low frequencies."
So if you're playing a fast-paced action game and someone stabs you in the back, you're going to feel it.
The next step was to improve the sound incrementally. "The design follows the function," Fritzlar says. "All the design followed the search for good sound, we looked for the details that would enhance this." It clearly worked as the product design won a coveted red dot design award.
We love the Sonic Chair and we quite like the fact the company bothered to get a real musician (Benjamin Attiche) so we could get the full live experience. It's been stress tested in mass public domains so you can be fairly sure you're getting quality for your hard earned cash. "Every part is easy to replace so long as a person doesn't have two left hands, Stuhn adds." In other words, your pet labradoodle could do it.
Add the option to choose from 39 colors, different fabrics and various gadget additions and you've found a new home for that spare $10K.
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